Statement from Steve Bach, Wheelchair Basketball Canada President, Regarding COC / CPC Decision to Not Send Athletes to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the Summer of 2020

(Ottawa, Ont.) Wheelchair Basketball Canada (WBC) praises the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) for reaching the extremely difficult but necessary conclusion to not send athletes to the Tokyo 2020 Games unless they are postponed due to the impact of COVID-19. We feel this is the right decision, and are proud that Canada has made it abundantly clear that the health and well-being of people around the world, including Canadian athletes, is paramount.

We also support the call to postpone the 2020 Games by one year to protect the health and safety of the global community, including Canadian athletes. For WBC the safety, health and well-being of our athletes, staff and extended community will always come first. Asking athletes to continue to train when daily training environments are compromised and not available would not only be unsafe and unfair, but unethical.

In light of COVID-19, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) have indicated that they are considering all options, including the possibility of postponing the Games, and are expected to reach a decision in April. Regardless of the outcome of that decision, we recognize and embrace the fact that the entire sport community, and indeed the entire global population, are in this together.

As we continue to navigate these challenging times, WBC would like to recognize the remarkable leadership demonstrated by our partners, including the CPC and the Government of Canada. It has been an exceedingly stressful time for many around the world, including WBC athletes, staff, and their families.

The unwavering passion and dedication exhibited by our athletes in particular throughout these extraordinary times cannot be understated. WBC stands by you. We will continue to work with our partners, and use everything at our disposal to uphold your best interests in order to ensure Canadian wheelchair basketball athletes compete at the Paralympics when the time is right.

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Media Contact

Courtney Pollock
Manager, Communications and Brand
Wheelchair Basketball Canada
C: 613-291-6721
cpollock@wheelchairbasketball.ca

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